Initiation in Diamond Sutra and in the Lotus Sutra
Astus wrote:Although in the Kumarajiva version it only says that the Buddha sat down, in Bodhiruci's translation it goes: sat peacefully in lotus-position straightening his body and posture (跏趺安坐，端身而住), or in Red Pine's translation "crossing his legs and adjusting his body". Although the Diamond Sutra is not an instruction on meditation, it does refer to proper sitting posture, and even more.
The Lankavatara Sutra 2.24, DT Suzuki translation:
"When a definite acquisition is obtained regarding the aspect of the stages [of Bodhisattvahood], the Bodhisattva will experience joy, and, gradually and successively going up the scale, will reach the ninth stage where his insight is perfected, and [finally the tenth stage known as] Great Dharmamegha. Establishing himself here, (70) he will be seated in the great jewel palace known as "Great Lotus Throne" which is in the shape of a lotus and is adorned with various sorts of jewels and pearls; he will then acquire and complete a world of Maya-nature; surrounded by Bodhisattvas of the same character and anointed like the son of the Cakravarti by the hands of the Buddhas coming from all the Buddha-lands, he will go beyond the last stage of Bodhisattvahood, attain the noble truth of self-realisation, and become a Tathagata endowed with the perfect freedom of the Dharmakaya, because of his insight into the egolessness of things."
Diamond sutra mentions the meeting, in a very distant past, between Tathagata Dipankara and a youth who wanted to offer something to Dipankara Tathagata. Dipankara then notices this youth and makes a prediction that in a distant future he will become a Buddha with the name Shakyamuni, in the Saha world-system.
This constitues a prototypical initiation.
Same prototypical initiation is followed in the Lotus Sutra where Shakyamuni makes a similar prediction to his senior disciples, i.e. announces their future buddhahood, their future names, and the worlds where it will take place. He further gives similar predictions to 500 arhats, and 2000 disciples in training and trained. Etc...
The length of a Bodhisattva's career varies in different sources, Lotus Sutra gives an example of a Naga-daughter who achieves full enlightenment in an instance. Several sutras, like Avatamsaka and Shurangama samadhi, express the view that a Bodhisattva consciously prolongs his career into infinite kalpas so that he can be of maximum benefit to beings wandering in Samsara.